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Pippa's August Blog: The last blast of Summer!

Pippa and Tilly Showjumping

Although there was some change in the weather this month, with a drizzle of rain, there was still a slice of the sun!

We ended July with my third Junior Camp which ran into August. That is definitely the highlight of being part of the Pony Club!

Unfortunately, spots of rain decided to show up on the Junior Camp set up day which wasn’t very nice but we did have sunny spells throughout the rest of the week. Tilly and I had bucket loads of fun during the riding (and during the washing down sessions after riding in which I usually got more soaked than her!). We had a fab instructor and a brilliant group with my best friend and others at the same level as us. We took part in a range of activities including cross country, dressage, show jumping, grid work and we even did a musical ride to The Greatest Showman! After the hot days riding, we (people not horses!) would take part in evening activities including rounders, a horse painting talk, a leg dissection, a film night, a Young Farmers Games Night, a slip n slide and a disco! Our camp is slightly different to others as instead of sleeping in tents or even lodges, we can sleep on the steps of the Grand Stand at Huntingdon Racecourse. Camp is definitely the best part of the Summer Holidays for me!

After camp, it was just a week before we were off again! This time it was for my older sister, Lucy. She had qualified, on her pony Gracie, for the National Tetrathlon Championships. For those who don’t know, a Tetrathlon is an event within the Pony club which includes running, swimming, shooting and riding a cross-country course. We camped in a tent (surrounded by lovely lorries and mobile homes) for three nights and had the ponies in temporary stables. Lucy did an excellent ride, gaining full points with a clear round within the time as well as a fast run, a personal best in the swim and a good shoot. Although I was not old enough to qualify, I competed in the Grassroots section which I also did a shoot, run and swim but instead of cross-country, I did the 75cm showjumping. Tilly still went clear and we finished in 15th place out of 45 people.

After a few rest days, we took part at a showjumping competition at Sissons Farm. Taking part in the 85cm and 90cm classes, in true Tilly fashion, we went double clear in both with fast times winning us a red 1st place rosette in both classes!

A couple of days later, a few of my friends and I went cross country schooling at a course we had never been to before. Although it was great fun and the jumps were quite good, it was one extreme or the other - 1m/110cm or 60cm! There were a wide range of jumps including a trakener, hedges (which I loved the most!), logs, pheasant feeders and tyre jumps. There was one hedge in particular which was about 95cm that I loved and could do a combination to a log and a tight turn to a slightly smaller hedge! 

Every summer, Lucy and I travel up to my grandparent's farm in East Yorkshire for a week and take the ponies. It’s where my mum grew up and it has stables and fields and miles of stubble to ride on! When we’re up there, we always go to the beach with the ponies. This year, we’ve been to the beach much more often despite the long journey and I think that Tilly is no longer scared or hesitant to get in the sea as she just trotted straight in like it was nothing but a pond! We had a great time and I put Lucy’s pony, Gracie, to the test on speed and racing Tilly against her even though she always won as Gracie is 14.2hh (compared to Tilly who is just 13hh!). I love the long rides and every day can be different. We even jumped a straw rectangular bale when on a ride.

This month has been really fun and I really enjoyed our last blast of the summer before going back to school on September 5th. Camp was definitely the highlight but I loved everything else too! Unfortunately, when we go back to school it will mean more homework (groan!) and not as much riding but every weekend we will be out and about! Good luck to anyone with forthcoming events!

Until next month,

Pippa x

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